Friday, March 26, 2010

Turning Pain into Purpose

Who has been in pain of some kind, large or small, at some point in this world? Everyone! Who has felt unloved, unimportant, and unworthy at some point in their life. Everyone! Who yearns to have a hole in their heart filled up with something that seems illusive and hard to find at times? Everyone! Do you know this is a tool God can use to change lives? My heart is breaking for all that have been to these places and are even still there because I have been there myself, even as recent as this week in some form or fashion.
But God has opened my eyes to the reality of this need people have for God's everlasting love in their life...all the way down my own children. Have you ever thought about how our children come with a hole in their heart, with a need to feel worthy of love and grace from the moment they are born? If anything, they are the perfect example of the honest response that happens when they are feeling unloved, unimportant, abandoned, and empty. But I've also realized that through life, we unfortunately learn to deal with all of this need by self-protecting, putting walls up, hiding our true feelings, and even forget that we are empty because we try to fill that hole with other things besides God. Therefore many people don't even know there's an aching need there anymore. And they become clogged up and therefore unable to receive love or even give it. And that is how we will stay empty. By closing up, not being real with God, with ourselves or others about our deepest need for love and purpose in life, and even not being willing to go through some pains in life in order to grow, we will not learn to live free and alive in Christ!

All that to say, today, I have a new passion, a new perspective, a new love for God's people that I didn't even know was possible. This is just where God has me right now. He's unclogged my heart I guess as I started getting real with Him about a lot of things over the past few years. Not to say everyone has to be there but let me tell you, if you open up your heart to God's heart, get ready! The floodgates will open! All I have to do is think of a few people I know that are hurting anymore before I have to fight off tears. God has opened the eyes of my heart more and more to what He sees in the day-to-day when people are walking around empty, hurting and unloved, and with that, my desire to guide as many as I can safe into His arms and give them a new hope and purpose in their life is growing daily. It's a beautiful yet kind of daunting feeling all at once really.

I don't really know how this is all gonna play out or if others will even see this when I cross their path. I am a work in progress like all of us so it may be hit or miss for a while. It took me 4 days to draw of the courage to send a card to my neighbor who God has placed on my heart this week...ha! I mean, honestly, over the last week, the darts have been flying from all direction as the enemy is trying to throw lies into my head and stop me in my tracks. Lies like, "People don't want your joy bad enough". "You might scare others off if you act too Godly or joyful". "Don't speak too openly about your new joy or you will be held accountable by others if you fall on your face"....ugh!! But the key to fighting off these lies is to stay out of my head and get into my heart daily. I know what my God-given heart is desiring and I have to trust that God will fulfill it as long as I stay willing and pour myself out like a drink offering at every opportunity. I will fail at times and I have to accept that. My perfectionistic tendencies want to get the best of me. But God isn't about perfection in ourselves, but finding His perfection of love that He wants to pour into and out of us. It still all scares the pants off me,

But am I willing to do it anyways? Will I be able to turn the pains and struggles of my life and find purpose in them as I cross people's path by giving them hope thru the love of Christ? Will I be able to lay down my own agenda of what that looks like and trust that God will guide me day by day so His agenda will prevail? These are the questions that have run through my mind all week. And it comes down to letting Him completely take over my life, surrendering daily to His plan and his purpose...and taking every fear and thought captive so that I can take on the mind of Christ and let Him live THROUGH ME!

So the question remains for you out there reading this. What pains in your life have you experienced and overcome with God's help that you can now use to help others overcome their own struggles and pain? We have an amazing tool when we've endured a struggle and hardship in life, or are even going thru it at this moment. God doesn't let anything go wasted if we seek Him daily and recognize His hand in everything we go through. People want empathy, not sympathy most of the time. If we can tap into God's perspctive and ask Him to show us the world as He sees it, look out because He may have a mission for you that you didn't even know was possible. And it's all about baby steps. You don't have to save the whole world. But you can save a life if you ask God to give you the opportunity. And that is turning your pain into a purpose.

"But it has been granted to you on behalf of Jesus Christ not only to believe in Him, but to suffer for him" Phil. 1:29
"God can do anything, you know-far more than you can imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working in us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us" Eph. 3:20 (The Message)

1 comment:

Dawn said...

I love your heart, Bethany, and your openness is such a blessing to me!!!